Thursday, 16 July 2009

Bicycle Ride

In my quest to maintain my fitness level - I've not been swimming because the sports club is closed for the summer - I rode over to Warnock's on the Lisburn Road, Belfast, this morning. I suppose it took me twenty-five minutes.

Warnock's is almost directly opposite Malone Park. They are a long-established clothing retailer, formerly at Queen's Building in Royal Avenue (recall Waterstone's there?). I tried on a Lacoste Size 4, which was too roomy; then a size 3, which was the correct size for me. They wouldn't - or couldn't - budge from their price of £50 per shirt.

I thanked them, mounted the trusty cycle and rode across the road to Maryville Park. I spotted a little white van emblazoned with the wording Pet-Serve. This is a great idea: David, a former USPCA officer, calls at your home and minds, feeds, checks and tends your pet for you while you are on holiday or whatever. Since I'd love another cat, this service would interest me.

I cycled onwards along the length of the Lisburn Road and Great Victoria Street, turning up Wellington Place. I finally arrived at Callender Street, my destination for lunch being Aldens In The City.

It is awhile since my last visit to Alden's city branch, and a true pleasure to return. I like this place. Nice Food, Nice People, Nice Service and Nice Place sums it up. Once again I had the Hot Pig Sandwich, a dish of the most divine chips I've eaten anywhere; indeed Heston B would be impressed. The chips were hand-made, crisp and dry on the exterior, chunky and fluffy inside; what more could you wish for?

The sandwich was equally good, the ingredients including lean pork pieces and dressed salad, all in a tangy, mustardy, saucy dressing. I washed it down with a glass of chilled white wine.

The bill was a very reasonable £11.45: £7.95 for the sandwich and £3.50 for the wine.

Before I left I chatted with Jonathan Davis, who owns this restaurant and its slightly more formal sister restaurant, Alden's, at Ballyhackamore in east Belfast. Being a fellow Old Brackenbrian, Jonathan recognized my tie! I knew he'd been to Campbell (Alden's House); didn't realize we'd both been at Brackenber, though.

Incidentally, my repast here bore absolutely no comparison to last week's bangers and mash. I mean that in every sense, including standards of cuisine, service and value. Very well done, Jonathan; and keep to the great work.


Owen Polley said...

Aldens in the City is one of my favourite places for lunch in the city centre I must say. Have you tried the seafood chowder and artisan breads? The pig sandwich is very good.

The other half has banged on about Muriels but I've as yet to go. Sounds like I haven't missed much in the culinary sense.

Timothy Belmont said...

Stick to Alden's for the grub. That's my advice!

I've only ever had the pig; almost had the sole goujons today. :-)